Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Dewan Housing promoters get bail as ED fails to file chargesheet in time

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New Delhi: The Bombay High Court today granted bail to Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan, promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd, accused of money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the multi-crore Yes Bank fraud case.

A bench of Justice Bharati Dangre granted bail as the ED failed to file its chargesheet against them within the stipulated 60 days. “There is a period prescribed for filing of the charge sheet. The right to default bail is for the accused if an investigating agency fails to file the charge sheet within the period prescribed under Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” the court observed.

The Court has directed both to deposit Rs 1 lakh each as surety and surrender their passports to the investigators.

However, they will remain in jail as they have also been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the same case. ED is also separately probing other pending cases against them.

The Counsel for Applicants sought bail claiming that the ED has failed to file its charge sheet within the stipulated period of 60 days.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, on the other hand, prayed before the court to stay the bail order at least for two weeks. He contended what the High Court has ruled was a pure question of law and since different courts have taken different views of the point of default bail, ED would like to test the view held by the High Court before the Supreme Court.

While refusing the aforesaid contention given by Government Counsel, Justice Dangre said that the settled legal position is, once the right of default bail is due, the accused cannot be kept in custody thereafter even for a day.

The brothers were arrested by the ED on May 14 on money laundering charges.

The ED had initiated proceedings against the Wadhawans on the basis of a case registered by CBI on March 7 against Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor, and his family members. They have been booked for conspiracy, cheating and also under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

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The agency has alleged that in between April and June, 2018, Yes Bank invested Rs 3,700 crore in short term non-convertible debenture of DHFL. Rana Kapoor and its family members had allegedly received Rs 600 crore as bribe from DHFL in terms of loans advanced to two firms named DOIT Urban Ventures (India) Private Limited and Morgan Credits Private Limited. While Kapoor’s three daughters hold 100 percent stakes in DOIT, Morgan Credits is controlled by his wife.

– India Legal Bureau

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